It was not until Elon had rifled through his desk drawers and his silverware drawers and his chest of drawers; and groped the pockets of his dinner pants and his Capri pants and his cashmere suits and his seersucker suits and even his windbreakers and his ski parkas in storage; and then felt beneath his countless silk sofa cushions and flashlighted beneath the sofas themselves, that, truly and completely and thoroughly, Elon registered and comprehended the magnitude of his highly compromising predicament.
"Dear me," the slack-jawed billionaire finally muttered to himself. "I seem to have lost my mind."
His search then began in earnest.
Elon ransacked a closet and then reordered it. Elon disassembled a cupboard and then rebuilt it. Elon removed from the floor of his crowded garage every single shiny Jaguar and Lambo he could find, and many de mode fitness contraptions. He removed these necessities to the lush green lawn of his Mojave desert home. Elon stood upon that sopping wet lawn then to watch for movement among his automobiles and fitness contraptions, for any sign of life; and, after observing none, crowded them again onto the burnished smooth concrete of his vast garage floor.
Elon gave up on his house and called the police. The police did not arrive quickly enough so he called the fire department. The fire department did not send enough firepeople so he called the boy scouts. The boy scouts had no publicists so he called the radio stations, personally. Elon granted exclusive interviews then with radio reporters and newspaper reporters and magazine reporters and internet reporters, one by fawning one, and, before the commencing of their professional and very penetrating questioning, as he and they sat erect upon the gritty sandstone tiles of his semi-enclosed and semi-air-conditioned sundeck, Elon would ask, between sips of iced jasmine, the tea's cubes tinkling, hopefully: "Have you noticed anything squishy and globular laying around your sweltering tenement?" To which his heart would lift at the repeated answers of "Yes," since, usually in fact there are squishy, globular effects to be found throughout passages of overcrowded central Los Angeles apartment blocks. Further investigation into the color, texture and odors of these promising globularities, however, led endlessly to something other than Elon's mind, and so Elon was forced into further appointments. One by one came his fawning therapists, and his fawning trainers, and his fawning manicurists, and even what he called his personal caterinarian, and, then, after her, his personal doggerinarian. Elliptically Elon probed each and every one of these professionals for indications into the misplacement of his absconsive gray matter.
None could assist.
Emergency visits were paid then at the offices of specialists of every sort of kind of thing he could imagine: The dentist, the baker, the candle-stick maker. Little boy blue and Thor. Elon even considered seriously the prophecies of a street-corner blind man who flapped a deflated sex doll at traffic. This leg of his quest led him finally to a Panorama City studio stage where he held the hands of a profusely sweating motivational speaker, who, after quoting famous thinkers on the subject of passion, was kissed on the tear-wettened mouth by Elon. Later Elon insisted no tongue was involved, though he attested to the flavors of garlic diluted by mouthwash.
Even after this, still Elon stood empty-headed.
Elon founded a foundation then, and convened a council, and organized a non-profit organization. He initiated his own support group to teach him his own twelve-step plan. Upon the failure of all twelve of his steps, he founded his own church to enlist the power of God. After a few minutes of waiting, though, it seemed that perhaps the Democrats actually had more power than the almighty, and then possibly the Republicans did, and then maybe the Libertarians did, and then probably the Anarchists did. But, as none of these, in the end, delivered unto him his mind, Elon invented a political movement of his own -- The Where'd It Go Tribe. With this legal entity plus a well-funded private militia, he thought he might wrest control from an entire people, like maybe the citizens of Mozambique or Liechtenstein; and then marshal their many resources to his cause, like maybe all those coal mines they probably had, or their potato chip factories. Supporters Elon found aplenty. Dozens flooded the spontaneous tent city he erected behind his mansion for the training, arming, indoctrination, and transporting of his private brigade. The recruits arrived and gobbled up all the free donuts and juice he provided, dutifully then followed Elon into a demonstrative march, which quickly transformed into a rather rambunctious cafe jaunt, which was delightfully peppered then with a smattering of vandalism, like the spray painting of a stop sign with the pseudo-word "sux." Elon relieved all twelve generals of their duty after a couple of days and began to wonder if maybe the magic of his favorite sports heroes or pop stars might provide the missing ingredient. One baseball slugger, with alacrity, appeared at his side to flex his biceps and then wink into a camera as he stormed Elon's bushes looking for his mind. Another crooner strolled the property's 10-foot cinder block fence line as he sang with a sappy twang about loving your fellow man unless she don't love you back. But despite the earnestness, repartee, and camera appeal of his famous friends, they did not find his mind. And so, at long last, what had once been a mere fear, was now, in fact, a full-blown tragedy.
It's true, Elon thought, sitting on his silken sofa, his head drooped into his hands, looking down at the parquet floor. I have actually lost my mind.
But then Elon realized, as the wheels in his skull kept whizzing, popping, and twirling, that actually it was improbable to have lost one's mind while simultaneously thinking up multiple ways of relocating it. And ... what? Eureka! It must still be in my head, Elon thought. Then Elon was howling with laughter and slapping his knee with hiccupping hilarity as he recalled that time he went looking for his sunglasses for hours only to find them propped over his temples. Or that time he couldn't find his ice cream sandwich because he put it in his pocket. Or that time he bumped into a wall because he couldn't locate the light switch because the room was so dark without the light switch on. Oh, what an LOL! And there was that time he couldn't find the keys to his Jaguar because he left them dangling in the car door lock. And all those times he had run out into the street in his underwear after triggering the fire alarm with burning toast. So this was one of those fiascos! Elon sighed with relief. That was a close one, his new-found mind thought. Then Elon rang up his accounting firm to see how many dollars he had blown in his panic. While he waited for the final sum, he envisioned himself at a swank and highly exclusive party, wine glass in hand, gloating ruminatively to other billionaire buddies and beauties about how much time and capital he could waste without it meaning absolutely anything to him at all. Just nothing, nothing, nothing. Just a mindless, billions-dollar goof.
Stephenson Muret lives and writes in Southern California. His plays, stories, essays and poems have appeared in scores of publications, touching virtually all genres. He recommends the Internet Archive.